The race for the presidency of the T&T Football Association began in earnest yesterday with last year's beaten candidate Clynt Taylor looking like a strong choice to take over the reins of local football.
The Central Football Association's (CFA) secretary-general has been quietly putting together an equally strong team of professionals he believes is trustworthy, capable and competent, has the interest of the sport at heart and are guided by the principles of transparency and accountability. He did not name any members of his slate but promises it will be a genuine group of people, who will provide the sport with the boost it needs at this time.
According to Taylor "Under the current president David John-Williams, we have seen absolutely nothing positive taking place."
"What football needs now is a change. It needs people who genuinely care about it and understand programmes and processes, or someone who can put down a proper management system and put it on par with international football. If I were voted into office, I would immediately select a team of qualified persons in law and finance etc to deal with the plethora of financial and legal issues the association face at this time. We need people who can sit and talk to people, someone who is understanding" Taylor explained.
The TTFA Annual General Meeting (AGM) and election of officers is carded to be held no later than the last day in November this year, according to the constitution. John-Williams, the incumbent is already bracing for a challenge, having faced a barrage of questions and legal issues from various members in the fraternity, including members within his Board of Directors.
Under John-Williams, the long-awaited but now controversial Home of Football in Balmain Couva was constructed. And the embattled football boss views it as a solution to many of his association's financial woes.
Under John-William' leadership also came a stigma of dictatorship, lack of transparency and accountability, particularly concerning matters related to the home of football.
There were also many legal wrangles that took place under John-Williams' reign, such as the T&T Futsal team triumph in the court that earned them more than $.5 million, Keith Look Loy's victory in getting the football association to open its books on all the matters related to the controversial home of football, among many others.
Apart from Taylor and John-Williams, Raymond Tim Kee, the former president is bidding for a return to the office to complete the work he started between 2012-2015. Guardian Media Sports also learnt that Tony Harford, the Northern Football Association president is also set to throw his hat into the ring, while Selby Browne and Ramesh Ramdhan, both of whom contested the presidency back in 2015, will not be going up.
Ramdhan said yesterday that though he will not be contesting the elections, he is inclined to throw his support behind the candidate he believes can take the sport forward.
Kelvin Jack, the former national goalkeeper for the 2006 World Cup Soca Warriors team, is also set to throw his hat in the ring, but Guardian Media Sports was told that his candidacy could be in doubt due to restrictions outlined in article 34 of the TTFA constitution.
Article 34 (6) of the Constitution which states that "Any candidate wishing to become a memmber of the Board of Directors shall fulfill the following eligibility criteria- (1) candidates must have been active in football for at least three years during the five years preceeding the elections. This activity must have been performed in a managerial or a similar position in the territory of the Republic of T&T."
SOURCE: T&T Guardian